The Representation of the Visual Field in Three Extrastriate Areas of the Ferret (Mustela putorius) and the Relationship of Retinotopy and Field Boundaries to Callosal Connectivity

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We describe representations of the visual field in areas 18, 19 and 21 of the ferret using standard microelectrode mapping techniques. In all areas the azimuths are represented as islands of peripheral visual field surrounded by central visual field representation. The zero meridian was found at the 17/18 and 19/21 borders; at the 18/19 and anterior border of 21 the relative periphery of the visual field was found. In areas 18 and 19, elevations are represented in a smooth medio-lateral progression from lower to upper visual field. In several cases the elevations in area 21 evidenced a similar medio-lateral progression; however, in others the elevations exhibited a split representation of the horizontal meridian. Anatomically determined callosal connections coincided with the representation of azimuths near the zero meridian. Medio-lateral bands of callosal connectivity that straddle the 17/18 and 19/21 borders are connected by bridges of callosally projecting cells. Acallosal cortical islands corresponded to the peripheral visual field and were found straddling the 18/19 border and the anterior border of area 21. The results are discussed in relation to callosal connectivity and retinotopy in extrastriate visual cortex and to proposed homologies of carnivore and primate visual cortex.

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